How lucky am I that I get to celebrate the release of Rum and Choke down in the Florida Panhandle where the book is set? It’s also great to be able to be with my mom on the day the book releases. My mom (and dad) instilled a love of reading in my sister and me. Before we could read, we were read to. There were endless trips to the library, money for a book or two at book fairs, and books being passed from person to person. Even as adults when we lived far from each other there were many, “Have you read (fill in the blank)?” conversations.
I’ve said this before, but I can’t say it enough – I’m so grateful to Malice Domestic the convention that celebrates the traditional mystery. I mentioned them in the acknowledgements of my first book – Tagged for Death. There I met Julie Hennrikus in such a random way. We were seated at the same table at the banquet. Because of Julie I joined Sisters in Crime and started attending Crime Bake.
Through Sisters in Crime (and the wonderful Seascape Writers retreat run by Hallie Ephron, Lucy Burdette, and S.W. Hubbard) I met Barb, Edith, Jessie, and Liz. I still marvel at how these, at the time, seemingly random events made such a huge impact on my life. And since I’ve formed such close friendships with so many authors I adore and admire. Heck, Barb literally pushed me up in front of her agent at Crime Bake and when she heard he was looking for someone to write a garage sale series thought of me. And here we are celebrating my thirteenth book.
I’m lucky to have met short story writer and editor Barb Goffman through the Chesapeake chapter of Sisters in Crime. She edits my books and each one is all the better for it.
The people of Kensington Books have been fantastic to work with. There are so many people behind the scenes when it comes to producing a book—many who I’ve never met. And then there are the more obvious people like my editor Gary Goldstein and Larissa Ackerman, Communications Manager, who is one of the hardest working (and loveliest) women I know.
I always have to thank my agent, John Talbot. The day Barb pushed me in front of him he said no. But three weeks later I was writing a proposal for him and the rest, as they say, is history. Just last week he buoyed my spirits when he called to say he loved the manuscript I’d sent him. It’s a departure for both of us – a sweet romance with some interesting twists.
I’m thankful to the wonderful readers, bloggers, librarians, and bookstore owners who have supported me. There’s nothing better than the random person who tells you that something in your book meant something to them.
And my family. I don’t know how I got so lucky. My husband and daughter are my biggest cheerleaders. They have wisdom when I’m down, they didn’t complain when I traveled a lot (okay, they didn’t complain too much!) and we celebrate each launch in big or small ways.
You can see why my heart is grateful.
Readers: What makes you grateful?
Here’s a bit about the book: Bestselling author Sherry Harris gives us the latest in a new cozy mystery series featuring a bartender sleuth in the tiny town of Emerald Cove, Florida.
Chloe Jackson runs a saloon in Emerald Cove, Florida—and she also happens to be an expert at putting people behind bars . . .
The Florida Panhandle Barback Games are coming up and Chloe’s been drafted to represent the Sea Glass Saloon—competing in various obstacle-course events that conclude with rolling an empty keg up a hill. The rivalries are so fierce that some of the participating bars even stoop to bringing in ringers.
Meanwhile, Chloe’s friend Ann—a descendant of the famed pirate Jean Lafitte—asks her to come along for a boat ride as Ann dives into the Gulf of Mexico. She’s found some old papers that may identify the location of sunken treasure. Instead, she finds a sunken body—of one of the ringers hired for the Barback Games. Now that murder is in the mix, Chloe has to figure out whether one of the competitors went overboard . . .
Signed copies of Rum and Choke are available through One More Page Bookstore in Arlington, Virginia.